Sometimes art influences life, and sometimes that phenomenon manifests in the best possible way – such as a fan recreating one of the most famous motorcycles in pop culture history. A talented builder and follower of the hit 1988 anime movie Akira has built a fully functional replica of Kaneda’s iconic motorcycle – bringing a piece of Katsuhiro Otomo’s classic to life.
Akira is one of the most influential animated movies ever to hit the big screen and is often cited as the film that introduced a wider Western audience to anime in general. Set in a dystopian version of Tokyo, the film is filled with high tech city scenes, biker gangs, and brutal telekinetic violence. Kaneda’s bike has become synonymous branding for the film over the years – appearing on posters, merchandise, and becoming a staple example of the cyberpunk style in media.
The project to recreate Kaneda’s bike in real life comes from Japanese Youtuber Ayato, also known by the screenname Teruteru Boizu. Beginning as an old junk bike, the YouTuber has posted a series of videos detailing his process of transforming the machine into a real-life anime homage.
Stripping the vehicle down to its frame, engine, and tires, a new shell modelled after the look seen in the science fiction movie was later fabricated. Besides getting the overall look right, Ayato built a custom suspension, so that the bike not only looked like the one from the anime but also rides like it as well.
LED lighting has also been added to the wheels of the bike, giving the whole machine that futuristic glow that we all know too well from the original movie and Otomo’s manga on which it is based. Although the replica is already pretty impressive, it isn’t finished just yet. The bike still needs that red painted finish to complete the authentic Akira look. Ayato is still posting videos on YouTube about his journey in building the machine.
However, this isn’t the only Akira bike in real life. An Akira live-action adaptation has been in development since 2002, with Thor: Love and Thunder director, Taika Waititi, set to helm the project. We are curious to see which bike will win the replica race.